DENVER (KDVR) — If you’re caught parking illegally in Denver, get ready to pay more beginning in February.

For the first time since 2007, the city will be increasing fines for most parking violations, with some more than doubling. That includes fines for parking in bike lanes, in crosswalks or on shoulders, which will increase from $25 to $65.

“It’s a very common practice,” said Allen Cowgill, who rides his bike everywhere, regardless of the weather. “I don’t think that people really understand that it really impacts someone’s safety when they do park in a bike lane.”

Cowgill often posts videos and photos of his roadway interactions on social media. He said it’s nearly a daily occurrence that he comes across a driver parked illegally in a marked bike lane. 

“We are vulnerable road users, so when the bike lane’s being blocked, we’re being put into an unsafe situation,” he said.

Cowgill applauds the city’s decision to increase fines and hopes it sends a message to drivers. Still, he’s concerned not much will change without additional enforcement. 

“We know that increasing fines is not the best way always to make an impact on enforcing the law, it’s the certainty of being caught,” he said.

Through email, a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson said they are “not initiating any big push or extraordinary enforcement efforts to go along with the increases.” However, she added that “we’re hoping the potential for a bigger fine for breaking the rules serves as a deterrent and helps gain compliance.”

DOTI estimates the city will generate an additional $6.4 million in revenue from the new fine increases in 2022. That money will go toward a special revenue fund designed at increasing transportation safety. 

Other notable fine increases include:

  • Expired meter violations will increase from $25 to $35.
  • Parking illegally in an accessible space designed for persons with disabilities will increase from $150 to $350.
  • Fines for illegal large vehicle parking, including semitrucks on residential streets, will increase from $25 to $250.

The new fines go into effect Tuesday, Feb. 1.